If you are a Disney fanatic, nothing is more magical than clicking “Confirm” on a Walt Disney World vacation booking. Securing a Disney Park pass, purchasing Disney Genie+, and picking out your Minnie Ears for a Disney vacation. From dashing around Magic Kingdom and Disney Springs to exploring Animal Kingdom. From rising with the sun (with a cup of Joffrey’s in hand) for early theme Park entry to ride Slinky Dog Dash in Toy Story Land, to shutting down the Parks in the crowds around World Showcase after watching Harmonious. There is nothing like a magical Walt Disney World Resort vacation.
But every Disney vacation has a dark side. The day you don’t even want to think about because the realities it holds are so horrible. That’s right, I’m talking about your last day at Disney World. You likely have your own list built from crummy experiences on your departure days from a Disney Hotel. Here is what we hate about our last day at Disney World.
Trudging Out of the Park
As a proud Disney adult, I can’t even count the number of “last days” I’ve experienced at Walt Disney World. The funny thing is, leaving never seems to get easier. In fact, quite the opposite is true. The older I get, the more I relish escaping to this beautiful world where the Haunted Mansion is the scariest thing I see all day, and snagging a Lightning Lane pass for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is the most stressful experience.
My husband and I always end the last day of our Disney vacation in Magic Kingdom, so we can shut down the Park and enjoy the evening ambiance and views of Cinderella Castle. Regardless of if your last Park day is in Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, or Disney’s Hollywood Studios, walking out at the end of your vacation is something I hate about a Disney vacation. And yes, I’m that teary-eyed lady you see hanging around Main Street U.S.A. after the “kiss goodnight” catching one last glimpse of Cinderella Castle.
Nothing lets you know the Disney magic is gone, quite like arriving back at your Disney hotel and having to repack to return home. Regardless of how great you are at packing, sticking to the essentials, etc. you will (in my experience) always struggle to repack your belongings to go home.
Maybe your stuff multiplied since you unpacked, or maybe you are like me and took a Disney Springs shopping spree. Either way, returning to the Resort after a long day in the Parks to pack to go home is miserable.
Removing That Magic Band
Your beloved accessory that scanned you into the Parks, and admitted you to the Lightning Lane in Toy Story Mania and Expedition Everest, has to come off. That’s right, it’s time to return to the “real world” so it’s time to remove your Magic Band.
Many Disney fanatics personalize their Magic Band with stickers, decals, or slides. Maybe you purchased a custom, holiday, festival, or character Magic Band as a souvenir. The good news is you will be able to use it on your next trip to Walt Disney World. The bad news is, it’s time to remove it for now.
Fighting Orlando Traffic
The experience that drives me to tears after leaving the Parks — is battling traffic on the freeway after a Disney vacation. If you drive to Disney World like my North Georgia family, you know the drama that Orlando traffic can bring. Here at DisneyDining.com we talk about the wait time that can be saved if you travel to Disney World outside peak season. That also holds true for lighter traffic during the less-busy times of the year.
That said, real life often prevents my family from traveling during slower times of the year, so we are part of the interstate pilgrimage to Disney World on holiday weekends, Thanksgiving, and Christmas break when we are out of school and work. If you have ever driven up Interstate 95 on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, then you know the misery that is the drive back from a Disney vacation. This is definitely one of the things I hate most about the end of vacation.
Or Braving the Airport
Maybe you did not drive to Disney World. Leaving is still a pain and provides a jolt back to reality. After days of bliss at the Most Magical Place on Earth where transportation is plentiful, reliable, and free, you have to make plans to return to the airport and slink through security to your departure gate. Suddenly, the stress of the real world is on you again as you carefully plan what time you need to arrive at Orlando International Airport to make your flight.
You navigate any connections, juggle luggage, and set up transportation from your home airport back to your actual home. In short, even if your travel day goes according to plan with no delayed flights, lost luggage, or general drama, it’s just not a fun experience. If you are anything like me, you’ll wish you were blasting off on Star Tours in Disney’s Hollywood Studios instead of flying home.
An Uncertain Return Date
What we hate most of all about our last day at Disney World is when we don’t have a return date in mind. Die-hard Disney fans feel better knowing when they will be back at their favorite place. Even if that next trip date is farther away than you would like it to be, having a date circled on the calendar that you and your family can look forward to is such a morale booster.
The good news is, you can take care of this before your vacation ends. Pull out a laptop in your Disney Resort room to rebook for a future date, or head down to Guest Services for help from a Cast Member. We can promise this will make leaving Walt Disney World Resort just a little less sad.
What do you hate most about leaving a Disney vacation? Is your Disney World pet peeve on this list?